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Ohio EPA Awards Nine Environmental Education Grants
Butler, Clark, Delaware, Franklin, Madison, Monroe, Pickaway County Organizations are Recipients
Nine Ohio organizations are receiving Ohio EPA Environmental Education mini grants for projects focused on habitat restoration, agricultural conservation, hands-on environmental learning and technology, and environmental careers. Nine mini grants are being awarded statewide for a total of $32,896.
The grant recipients are:
- Butler Soil and Water Conservation District, in Butler County, is receiving $4,928 for an aerial imagery conservation education program that will educate landowners and farmers on the natural resources concerns on their properties. It also will allow Butler SWCD to produce high-quality images and video to create educational materials.
- Bulls Run Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum, in Butler County, is receiving $4,151 to create a rain garden to educate the community about native habitat and storm water retention. Located next to a shelter near the park entrance, the facility plans to host workshops for the public, school field trips and Master Gardener program interns.
- Clark County Solid Waste District is receiving $1,717 for equipment to produce vinyl educational signs to be placed throughout the community and schools to provide information about recycling programs, natural resource conservation, habitat restoration, litter prevention and non-point source water pollution.
- City of Delaware Public Utilities Department, Delaware County, is receiving $2,241 to partner with Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) to provide students hands-on experience in water sampling for E. coli in Delaware Run, an impaired tributary to the Olentangy River. During OWU’s Green Week, outreach will include a stream cleanup with a stream sampling demonstration and a tour of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and lab facilities. A second outreach event will be an open house and career day with water quality professionals.
- Westerville Parks and Recreation, Franklin County, is receiving $5,000 to develop a recreational trail with educational signs through a wooded portion of Heritage Park. The city will work with Westerville City high school students, science and engineering teachers, The Ohio State University and a mapping company to map, plan and develop the trail.
- Franklin Park Conservatory, Franklin County, is receiving $4,756 for its “Green STEM Girls” after-school program. The program works with 35 middle school students from Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls to provide hands-on learning in botany and applied plant sciences to explore environmental issues and encourage critical thinking and creativity.
- Madison Soil and Water Conservation District, Madison County, is receiving $2,000 for two outreach events to raise awareness and encourage the conservation of natural resources with the local agricultural community. The first event is a grazing workshop to promote establishing native grasses for the northern bobwhite quail. The second is an agricultural drainage workshop focusing on reducing nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment runoff from cropland.
- Burr Oak State Park (Ohio Department of Natural Resources), Morgan County, is receiving $4,345 to plant a native wildflower habitat at the Burr Oak nature center. The habitat will include an exhibit and the park will host educational programs for the public. The public also will be invited to participate in the Project Wild “Monarch Marathon” and a workshop on citizen science projects.
- Pickaway Soil and Water Conservation District, Pickaway County, is receiving $3,758 to purchase an augmented reality sandbox which uses a 3D effect to teach visual, hands-on earth science concepts. The display can create topography models to show geographic, geologic and hydrologic concepts to teach about watersheds, erosion, weathering, rocks and deposition, landforms and how to read a topographic map.
The Ohio Environmental Education Fund provides grants each year for environmental education projects serving kindergarten through university students, the public and the regulated community. Mini grants are available for projects costing between $500 and $5,000.
Eligible grant recipients include environmental groups, public and private schools, colleges and universities, trade or professional organizations, businesses and state and local governments. Letters of intent for the next grant round are due to Ohio EPA no later than July 8, 2019, and applications are due no later than July 16, 2019. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund online or at (614) 644-2873.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.